Romantic festival of St Valentine's Day is celebrated with enthusiasm and fond regard in several countries around the world. Most commonly observed Valentine's Day tradition and custom is expressing one's love with an exchange of cards, flowers and gifts. Pampering one's beloved and making a romantic proposal to one's sweetheart is the other popular tradition of the festival that celebrates love.
There are several other Valentine's Day customs and traditions associated with festival but these vary in different countries because of the social and cultural differences. What remains the same everywhere though is celebration of love by lovers. Here we will discuss some of the most commonly observed way of celebrating St Valentine' Day.
One of the most popular customs of Valentine's Day observed worldwide is to go on a date with sweetheart. Those without a date start looking for one days before the festival. The custom originated from the popular English belief that birds chose their partners on February 14. For this reason, Valentines Day was called “the Birds' Wedding Day” in parts of Sussex.
In the beginning, Valentine's Day was associated with romantic couples only but in recent times the festival is seen in much larger perspective. Now, people take opportunity of the day to wish ‘Happy Valentine's Day' to anyone they love be it father, mother, teachers, siblings, friends, co-workers or just anyone special to them. The idea behind this tradition is to celebrate love, get love and give love to everyone around us.
One of the most commonly observed Valentine's Day customs is the exchange of love notes called ‘Valentines'. Initially people used to exchange handwritten notes but starting with the 19th century, the practice of sending hand written notes was replaced by the exchange of mass-produced greeting cards. Gradually, Valentine's Day cards came to be gifted to teachers, siblings, parents, friends and dear ones along with sweethearts. Today, Valentine's Day festival is estimated to be the biggest card-sending occasion after Christmas. Most commonly used pictures in Valentine's Greetings include images of popular Valentine's Day symbols like red roses, hearts and Cupid - the pudgy, winged son of Venus, the goddess of love. These days, there is also a tradition to club Valentine's with tiny candy hearts with affectionate messages printed on them.
There exists a strong tradition of indulging one's beloved with gifts of love. Some of the most popular gifts exchanged between lovers on Valentine's Day are fresh flowers - mainly roses, chocolates and teddy bears. Fine jewelry is increasingly becoming a popular St Valentine's day gift gift for women due to the rigorous marketing campaign by diamond industry. Candies, showpieces besides several other things are also gifted to dear ones including grandparents, parents, siblings, teachers and friends. This is because Valentine's Day is increasingly being regarded as the festival that celebrates love between two individuals and not just lovers.
The other most traditional way to celebrate Valentine's Day is to go for romantic candlelight dinners with one's Valentine. Many also choose to propose their dates in such a romantic setting and say the golden words, ‘I love you'. The other most emerging tradition is to participate in Valentine's Day balls and dance parties organized by various societies, clubs and restaurants. Many people also organize Valentine's Day Couple's parties in their homes where lovers have a blast in the company of friends. Those without a partner organize Valentine's Day Single's Party and have a good time dancing and playing games with other friends who are single.
In several countries including United States and Canada there is a tradition to organize Valentine's Day classroom parties in schools. In such parties children exchange chocolates and Valentine's Day cards with their friends. British children sing special Valentine's Day song and receive candies and chocolates as reward. Senior school children usually organize Valentine's Day dance parties and have fun with friends.